Work work work...

Brent works all day, every day, work work work...

So what do I do? I am a Solutions Engineer (aka Pre-Sales Consultant) for  1E . My role - as part of the Sales Team - is to evangelise the  1E  products and solutions to help our customers understand how certain challenges can be overcome by utilising the products and solutions from 1E. It is also imperative I ensure 1E's products and solutions are the right-fit for the customers environment, as anything else will not lead to success.

How to Nomad-enable the built-in ConfigMgr Client?

How to Nomad-enable the built-in ConfigMgr Client?

If I right-click on the built-in CM Client package, I’m unable to enable Nomad because the checkbox is disabled or read-only.

The CM Client package is considered a Predefined Package and is therefore read-only or “locked” – you are not able to make any changes via the ConfigMgr Console, and therefore unable to enable Nomad for this specific package.
1. Do nothing – not recommended
2. Duplicate the CM Client package – 1E best-practise
3. Edit the CM database – not supported by Microsoft or 1E

Do nothing
If you do nothing, when this package is required (typically during an OSD Task Sequence) the task sequence engine will obtain the content using its native mode (ie: BITS) instead of using Nomad.

Duplicate the CM Client package
If you duplicate the CM Client package, then you will be able to Nomad-enable the new package. Make the necessary changes in your OSD Task Sequences by modifying the package reference in the “Setup Windows and Configuration Manager “ step to point to the duplicated CM Client package. During the OSD Task Sequence, the task sequence engine will now be able to use Nomad to locate & download the content locally.

Edit the CM database
WARNING: Editing the CM database is unsupported by Microsoft.


The new text to enter into the AlternateContentProviders cell is:
<AlternateDownloadSettings SchemaVersion="1.0"><Provider Name="NomadBranch"><Data><ProviderSettings /><pc>1</pc></Data></Provider></AlternateDownloadSettings>

Exit out SQL Management Studio and open up the ConfigMgr Console.
Browse to the built-in CM Client package, and you will notice that Nomad is now enabled for this specific package:



1E Nomad Control Panel

1E Nomad Control Panel

   
When installing 1E Nomad into customers SCCM environments we usually spend some time reviewing the configuration of the Nomad Agent. There are best-practises, but sometimes a little optimisation is required for customer-specific environments or scenarios.

Instead of swapping between the Nomad Agent configuration in the Registry and the 1E Online Documentation, I've created a small Control Panel applet that describes each of the settings.

The Nomad Control Panel applet also enables you to:
• view the current configuration of the installed Nomad Agent,
• view/delete the Nomad/CCM/NMDS/PBA cache(s),
• view/delete PXE Everywhere images,
• view/modify the Nomad Client Health configuration, and
• view a history (graph) of previously downloaded content (as long as the log entries exist in the current NomadBranch.log file).

If you think this would be helpful in your Nomad environment, simply email your request to me.

Controlling an Onkyo A/V Receiver (OpenElec) - using Python

I run OpenElec/Kodi on a Raspberry Pi at home and I wanted to power on the Onkyo Amp remotely using the RS232 serial port. I purchased a USB-to-Serial cable (eBay link) and created a Python script that would run within the WebPy web service.

Example command-line: python ./OnkyoControl/OnkyoControl_webservice.py 55123

In order to install WebPy on OpenElec, follow these instructions
>>wget http://webpy.org/static/web.py-0.37.tar.gz
>>tar xvfz web.py-0.37.tar.gz
>>cd web.py-0.37
>>python setup.py install --home=/storage/webpy/

And we will need PySerial as well
Download TAR from http://pyserial.sourceforge.net/pyserial.html#requirements
and extract to temp folder, and then:
>>python setup.py install --home=/storage/pyserial/

Figure out which port the USB->Serial cable is plugged into
SSH into OpenELEC
Confirm the cable has been plugged in and recognised correctly:
>>lsusb
Should show up in /dev as /dev/ttyUSB0

How to copy this file to OpenELEC:
Copy this file to \\openelec\downloads\
SSH into OpenELEC (using username of root) and copy the file with:
>>cp ./downloads/OnkyoControl_webservice.py ./OnkyoControl/OnkyoControl_webservice.py

To make this script run at OpenELEC bootime, do the following:
Browse to \\openelec\Configfiles, and open autostart.sh
Add following line: python /storage/OnkyoControl/OnkyoControl_webservice.py 55123 &

In addition to coding Kodi to programatically power on the Onkyo Amp, I also created a basic web page to control the amp.

Here is the complete script: [click here]

Meeting the celebrity: Rod Trent

My 1E Blog: A Day in the Life of a ConfigMgr Administrator: Part 4 [link]

Keeping the Distribution Point (DP) servers Lights On. This is the final part of my four-part story that details what we did in our company (in a previous life) to help reduce the DP server management nightmare.

My 1E Blog: A Day in the Life of a ConfigMgr Administrator: Part 3 [link]

Keeping the Distribution Point (DP) servers Lights On. This is the third part of my four-part story that details what we did in our company (in a previous life) to help reduce the DP server management nightmare.

My 1E Blog: A Day in the Life of a ConfigMgr Administrator: Part 2 [link]

Keeping the Distribution Point (DP) servers Lights On. This is the second part of my four-part story that details what we did in our company (in a previous life) to help reduce the DP server management nightmare.

My 1E Blog: A Day in the Life of a ConfigMgr Administrator: Part 1 [link]

Keeping the Distribution Point (DP) servers Lights On. Point-of-View: from a ConfigMgr Administrator to his Manager, discussing how he/she spends their day managing a ConfigMgr environment.

My 1E Blog: 1E AppClarity – Reclaiming Complex Applications [link]

How to use 1E AppClarity to reclaim complex applications, using Adobe Creative Suite as the example.

1E Nomad

1E Nomad enables organisations to reduce the number of remote ConfigMgr servers in the hierarchy, thereby consolidating and centralising the ConfigMgr servers in the Data Center. Less servers equals less administration and less problems!

Nomad also includes many automation tools to greatly accelerate Windows re-imaging and Migration projects (such as PXE Everywhere, Peer Backup Assistant, BIOS to UEFI automation, and Remote Worker scenarios).

1E AppClarity

1E AppClarity provides a single view of all (normalised) applications installed on all Windows desktops & laptops, as well as many different types of Servers. One of the unique advantages is a user-friendly engagement to automatically reclaim unused applications, thereby eliminating software waste on all client computers.

1E Shopping

1E Shopping is the AppStore for the enterprise. Nuff said!